I’ve either just purchased a slice of Internet history or have been suckered into a genius, highly persuasive marketing campaign. Within a matter of minutes I had clicked on a display ad, watched a quick introductory video, reviewed the single page website and payed $96 for the promise of an organic, self creating website based on some kind of design artificial intelligence. While I might normally be riddled with sinking feeling that only comes with post-purchase buyers remorse, instead, I’m optimistic and excited to see what they come up with.
So what did I do? I’ve signed up for new dynamic website builder The Grid.
The Grid promises to do something different. It pledges to take any image, video, copy and links that you throw at it, and The Grid will automagically transform itself into beautiful website that dynamically reacts to the content you feed it. Well, that’s my interpretation on their hyperbole.
Making a website shouldn’t be difficult, but for most people (myself included) the process is often time consuming, fraught with the potential for technical disaster and the results usually do not meet up with our intended vision. I’ve been looking for a super-easy to use website building tool or service for as long as the Internet has become popular and I must have tried them all; Webflow, Squarespace, Wix, Ghost, Unbounce and even the slew of new easy-as-pie theme templates for WordPress such as Div and Theme X. And if we want to go back further I could mention Dreamweaver, FrontPage and PageMill. My dream of making it easy for anyone to be able to own and run a website is the inspiration behind Everybody Internet and the reason why I became a founder of dedicated photography website and e-commerce builder Fotomerchant.
The Grid harnesses the power of artificial intelligence to take everything you throw at it – videos, images, text, urls and more – and automatically shape them into a custom website unique to you. As your needs grow, it evolves with you, effortlessly adapting to your needs.
All of them have their own particular little quirks and learning curves, and none of them, every truly deliver on their promise of an easy-to-use website creation experience (except Fotomerchant of course, that thing is incredible!). Out of all the tools, Webflow is my favourite web building tool – it finally allows me to skip the photoshop design process and get straight into the stunning WYSIWYG and responsible creation tools. Webflow, is awesome – it’s still requires people to have an inner geek to make it really work, but it does generate excellent results.
If I never have to install another wordpress plugin or wrestle with a shonky theme and still have a beautiful website that iterates changes majestically, intelligently and automatically… then i’m happy to roll the dice and see how it turns out.
Can The Grid actually deliver?
That’s the big question. They’ve done a great job in promoting and pre-selling their vision, but being able to deliver on the promise of artificial intelligently designed website is either way too ambitious or potentially the start of something amazing. Whatever they deliver in Q2 of 2015, it’s bound to be disappointing, if only because my expectations are unrealistic. But then again, maybe i’m an early adopter in the future of creative web production.
@KainTietzel I remain highly skeptical.
— Roger Sho Gehrmann (@roger_sho) November 10, 2014
I’m founding sucker member #7744. You’re welcome to join me and wait for the future to arrive.